What Will The Conferencing Trends Of 2022 Be?
As we face yet another uncertain year, what will conferences, events, and exhibitions look like in the coming months? Here’s a roundup of some of the ideas across the corporate events and training sectors.
Demand will bounce back
If we’ve learnt anything over the last two years, it’s that people need to mix in person to form strong bonds and make new connections, so the demand for venues will return to full strength. Whether it’s training sessions or networking, the value of in-person face-to-face communication has been widely recognised by businesses and organisations.
Hybrid sessions will be more common
Although in-person gatherings will remain the norm, some of the advantages of bringing in a virtual audience to a live event will be made the most of. These include being able to reach a wider audience, being more inclusive for those who can’t travel for health reasons, increasing the revenue for the event, and having a digital recording of the event.
Technology will be key
With hybrid events becoming commonplace, up to the minute technology and broadcast-ready venues will be a priority for event planners. Super-fast broadband and high bandwidth are a must, as are good acoustics, high-spec digital screens, and in-house support teams to help out with any problems that crop up during an event.
A new trend that emerged recently is wearable Bluetooth devices, which let the user know when a potential contact or collaborator is nearby. These devices could also be repurposed for social distancing, should the need arise once more.
As the need to reduce physical contact continues, guests will expect to be able to register at the venue via QR code. It will also become the norm to order from online menus and room service, and view documents such as the conference agenda on a smartphone or other portable device.
More focus on sustainability
As businesses look at ways to reduce their carbon footprint, there will be more focus on using local venues that the majority of guests can travel to easily. Those who live further afield may participate online.
In terms of catering, food may be sourced from local suppliers, which means that not only will it be fresher, but it will feed back into the local economy. Other supplies, such as stationery, toiletries, and so on may be purchased from manufacturers who use ethically and sustainably sourced materials, and/or are 100 per cent recycled and recyclable.
Single-use plastics and cardboard materials will be discouraged, with participants urged to bring reusable coffee cups and water bottles. Traditional freebies will be replaced with items such as recyclable pencils and reusable face masks.
Buffets may be different
The buffet may move more towards individual pre-packed portions, to avoid unnecessary mixing and close contact. The catering tables will have plexiglass dividers installed, and food may no longer be self-service. There will be expanded vegan and vegetarian options, in line with recent trends for more sustainable and healthier eating patterns.
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